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Chaves Ravine Essay

1942 words - 8 pages

PAGE PAGE 1
Cancino JonathanSociology 346Professor WangMay 8Chavez Ravine struggles with race and classSports play a very big role in our culture, its very entertaining, very relaxing, and we cheer for them, but it also has a lot of history behind them. Like in the case of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the stadium which is also called Chaves Ravine had a lot of issues before the Dodgers came to Los Angeles. There were many struggles between the city of Los Angeles and the Community of Chavez Ravine about race and class and the usage of the land that they were occupying. It was a very nasty battle between them which didn't turn out good for the people that lived in that hill.Chavez Ravine first takes its name a man named Julian Chavez, a native of New Mexico who arrived in Los Angles and quickly became a leading political figure. Chavez acquired eighty three acres surrounding a narrow valley northwest of the city center. I really don't know what Chavez did with the land, but during Los Angeles "1850 through 1882 smallpox epidemics, Chavez Canyon, that was it was called, was a place to a hospital for Chinese Americans and Mexicans Americans suffering from the disease. Although the lands proximity to downtown Los Angeles its rough terrain prevented intensive development even as the city grew around it". Much of the land became Elysian Park in 1886, the same year that the Los Angels Brick Company moved into Chavez ravine and began blasting into the hillsides. By the Early twentieth century a rural Mexican American community had taken ground on the hill land surrounding the ravine. Plenty of open space surrounded three distinct neighborhoods, bishop, la Loma, and Palo Verde. Goats grazed on hill sides, and residents raised a variety of domesticated animals, from peacocks to pigs. They also had their own farm which they grew vegetables and fruits for the community. There were both paved and unpaved streets but this was not necessarily a hindering development issues. The houses had official addresses that were recognized by the federal government. They had a school in Palo Verse and a sprinkling of different stores throughput the area. Though, due to insufficient funding from the city of Los Angeles, the people who lived in the ravine had to rely on growing their own food using the land as resource. The economic poverty in these neighborhoods led the city of Los Angeles to condemn Chavez Ravine as a slow and to plan a major public housing project, Elysian park heights, to clear the blight. Ronald Lopez explains that this " blighted area within a mile of downtown represented a problem to advocates of urban redevelopment and public housing to the Mexican immigrants, Mexican Americans, and other people who lived there, it represented a home and a refuge from a hostile and racist society." The argument I make is that institutionalized racism contributed to the destruction of three neighborhoods, especially because city officials failed to see the cultural...

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